The following feature appears in the August 2016 issue of NYLON.
Not every interview requires a waiver. But today, Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie and I will be chatting between stunt fights, gravity-defying leaps, and trampoline flips at XTC Xtreme Training Center in Los Angeles. Within minutes of signing, he’s jumping into the air, pulling off a full gainer, and sticking a landing in a pit filled with soft blue styrofoam squares, like an action hero catapulting into a pool of ice cubes.
Urie’s lofty flight isn’t limited to trampolines, though. Panic!’s latest album, Death of a Bachelor, skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the foursome is preparing for a stadium tour with Weezer. (“I get to watch Weezer for free every night,” he says with a laugh.) “It’s so crazy,” Urie says of the band scoring its first-ever chart-topping record. “Once an album is released, I’m like, ‘I hope some people like it so I can play some shows.’ That’s my goal: I want to build a production and stage show, and hope people come to the concerts, because that’s where I have the most fun outside of the studio. But something like that—it’s amazing.”
With the aid of a harness, Urie shoots up and nails a backflip with an acrobatic landing. “That was awesome,” he says, his face lighting up with a wide grin. Until now, his most perilous experiences have been limited to skateboarding and double-bouncing his friends on the backyard trampoline his family had at his childhood home in Las Vegas. But his adventurous days were abbreviated once he joined Panic! at the Disco at the age of 16. By the time he turned 17, they were playing sold-out shows on the strength of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” a verifiable emo anthem from 2005. “Those are the most transformative years of a person’s life—the college years. That’s when you figure out who you are, what your philosophies are. You start to build your ideals as an adult,” says Urie, now 29. “I was doing that this whole time with the other guys, and we were so young, but we had to act like we had the answers while in the public eye. I wasn’t a child star like Jason Bateman, but in our world of the emo scene, it was very strange.”
Click through the gallery to read the rest of the feature.